- What are the different types of COVID-19 treatment?
There are two categories of treatment:
1) Oral Antivirals – These are treatments such as Paxlovid (ritonavir/nirmatrelvir) and Lagevrio (molnupiravir) that are available in pills that you take by mouth at home.
2) Intravenous Antivirals – An example of this kind of treatment is remdesivir. This medication is given to patients through an IV infusion and is administered in a health care setting.
- What medications are available to treat COVID-19?
Several medicines are currently available for patients with COVID-19 at high risk of severe illness, including hospitalization or death. Eligibility is set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA).
Medicine Type Length of treatment When to start Paxlovid Oral (by mouth) 5 days Within 0–5 days after COVID-19 symptoms start Remdesivir Intravenous (IV) 3 days Within 0–7 days after COVID-19 symptoms start Lagevrio (molnupiravir) Oral (by mouth) 5 days Within 0–5 days after COVID-19 symptoms start
A health care provider will determine which medicine is the best option for you. Please call before going to a treatment site or pharmacy.
Contact your health care provider or the provider that is closest to you. If a provider determines that you need a medication that is not available at the site where you are assessed, arrangements can be made for you to obtain it at another location.
Most pharmacy sites provide medications only with a prescription from a health care provider.
Federally Qualified Health Centers may provide certain services only to current patients.
- Do I need a doctor’s order to get medicine that treats COVID-19?
Yes. Treatment is available for patients who have been evaluated by a health care provider to determine that treatment is appropriate and which medicine is the best option. Some doctors and health care facilities can evaluate patients by phone or over the internet (also referred to as telemedicine). If you don’t have a doctor, a provider at one of the Test to Treat sites can evaluate you and provide a prescription if appropriate.
- Do I need to get a PCR test if I want to get treated for COVID-19?
No. Any direct test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is acceptable to document a COVID-19 infection before starting one of these medicines. This could include a PCR test, a rapid antigen test conducted in a health care facility, or a rapid antigen test home kit.
- Can I get medicine to keep at home in case I get sick?
No. But if you are not sick right now, this is a great time to make sure you have a plan for how to get treated if you get sick in the future. These medications are available to patients who have COVID-19symptoms and a positive test, are at high risk of severe illness, and have been evaluated by a health care provider.
- Can I get medicine to use if I have COVID-19 and I don’t have symptoms?
No. If you have a positive test and you do not have symptoms, you do not need treatment at this time. If you develop symptoms in the next few days, treatment might be available at that time. COVID-19 treatment is available to patients who have COVID-19 symptoms and a positive test, are at high risk of severe illness, and have been evaluated by a health care provider.
- Can I get medicine to use if I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
If you are not sick right now, this is a great time to make sure you have a plan for how to get treated if you get sick in the future. COVID-19 treatment is available to patients who have COVID-19 symptoms and a positive test, are at high risk of severe illness, and have been evaluated by a health care provider.
- Do these medicines prevent COVID-19?
Medication can help to prevent you from getting very sick, but it cannot prevent infection.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death, is to get vaccinated and stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.htmlhttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/stay-up-to-date.html. Find a vaccination location.
- Will I be charged for medicine that treats COVID-19?
The cost of treatment may depend on your health care insurance coverage.
You will have a chance to talk with a health care provider to learn more about the cost and your options before getting treated. For patients with no insurance or who would not be able to afford the cost of treatment even after insurance coverage, patient assistance programs provide additional ways to access COVID-19 treatment.
- What does the U.S. CDC say about COVID-19 treatment?
Learn more about COVID-19 treatments and medications from the U.S. CDC.